Well, in a few words, they are hard to breed and raise. If you are interested in a more elaborate explanation, here it is… If you have asked around or at least read a little bit about this breed, you should know by now that Frenchies have very small litters, quite a few health challenges, they have to be artificially inseminated and brought to this world by a C-section. All this and all the complications that go with it are the main reason why breeding and raising French Bulldogs is very demanding, expensive and sometimes very stressful job. In my experience and from what I have heard from other reputable breeders, there are cases where you can do everything right for the mother and the puppies and there is still no guarantee they will all survive and be all right.
Now, here are some, not all, but most important facts you need to consider, before you claim that a healthy French Bulldog puppy from a reputable breeder costs too much!
In order to do things properly, you need to find a proper stud dog from a breeder you can trust. French Bulldogs are known to have some health problems with breathing, back, eyes… If you find a trustworthy breeder whose dogs have all the papers including the ones relating their health, you will minimize potential health problems of your puppies. Every amateur can mate two dogs, but doing it the right way takes knowledge, time, money and experience. As a breeder, you have the responsibility to your dogs and their future owners to do it properly.
Otherwise, the dogs can suffer or even dye, you will waste your time and money and since you did not do your homework in order to produce healthy puppies, even if you sell some of them and make some money, you will end up with quite a number of angry clients and trust me, you don’t want that!
Typical French Bulldogs have very slim hips and short legs, so in most cases the male is unable to mount the female and reproduce naturally. Therefore, they need to be artificially inseminated, which means checking hormone levels and temperature in order to determine when the female is ovulating. French Bulldogs are small dogs and because of that and the fact their babies have a large head compared to the rest of the body, the female needs to deliver puppies by caesarian section. All this requires many visits to the veterinarian, sometimes even late at night. Very often unwanted complications can occur with the mother or the babies and all that means many vet bills. Since typical Frenchie mom is small, she gives fewer babies than some other larger breeds. It is usually 2 to 4 puppies per liter. Sometimes it is only one puppy, sometimes even five, but let’s say three is the average. It is also very important to determine the best time for c-section. If you take the babies out too soon, the lungs are not fully developed and they might die. If you take them out too late, they can detach from the placenta and again, die! Sometimes you do all that is in your power and still you loose some of the puppies or even all of them. If you are lucky and they all survive, that is just when the party begins for you! They are very fragile and sensitive and they need 24 hour attention. Sometimes, the mother instinct kicks in too late or it doesn’t kick in at all and that means you have to step in and do all the things that mother would normally do. Sometimes there is no milk or, as more often is the case, there isn’t enough of it, so you have to bottle feed them every few hours for the first few weeks. You also have to rub their tummies to stimulate proper digestion and watch over the puppies constantly when you leave them with the mother, so she wouldn’t accidentally suffocate them in her sleep. It is clear to you by now that means no sleep for you for days or even weeks. Your whole life is on hold button during this period and even after you have done everything you could, there is still no 100 % guarantee none of the puppies will die. Now, imagine your disappointment and sadness when you actually lose one or all of them? You have wasted your time and money, you are tired, exhausted, hopeless and you have to do it all over again!
Now, we are talking about Frenchies that are typical representatives of the breed according to certain standards. Off course, you can hear that someone somewhere had a French Bulldog female which gave birth naturally or gave more than five puppies, but it is usually inappropriately large female with very suspicious origin. In that case, we cannot talk about serious and reputable breeder. Most of them are imported from who knows where, without papers and no one can guarantee those puppies will be healthy or what their temper will be like. We only breed top quality dogs. It is best for us and our clients. That often means you have to pay for a champion stud dog, but it is money well spent. Even if you want just a pet, it is important that their parents or grandparents are show quality. Champion origin on the other hand does not always guarantee that your puppy will also be a champion. That depends on way you treat your dog, proper nutrition, hygiene and exercise… But one thing is for sure- good origin will give you a healthy, good looking dog, with predictable temper. So paying an extra dollar is a good investment! Buying a French puppy is not time to be cheap. It can cost you a lot more in the future, paying for medications, treatments and vets.
When buying a Frenchie, we suggest you ask around and make sure you are dealing with a reputable and reliable breeder. There are many of those who only care about the money. So called “backyard breeders” import and breed dogs of suspicious origin with or with out papers. They only care about selling a dog to you, and after that, they are gone! They do not give you any health guarantees against genetic diseases, they will not offer you mentoring or advices and they will not take the dog back for any reason. They don’t even care if a dog dies, because they already have another one on the way. A reputable breeder knows that in order to breed and raise a dog properly, it takes devotion and they only raise a small number of dogs at the time. Backyard breeders do not care about the dogs, or clients. They are dealing with dozens of dogs at the time and didn’t take the time and money to raise them themselves. That’s why they can afford to sell them cheaper. You are the one who will end up with a sick or bed tempered dog, so the choice is up to you. If money is the issue, you better consider adopting a Frenchie from some rescue center, rather than buying a cheap Frenchie from a sleazy breeder. Trust me, you’ll have time to regret it.
Now, another reason French Bulldog puppies cost a bit more, is because raising newborns is 24 hour job. And there is no paid vacation or any vacation at all! It means feeding, cleaning, watching over them all the time! They are adorable and we do it because we love them and this job, but that often means having absolutely no time for yourself, your family and friends, when you have a fresh bunch of babies. French puppies are very sensitive and fragile and one more reason why your job is so important, is because the moms instinct kicks in a bit late or, sometimes, doesn’t kick in at all. So, guess who gets to play the “mom” part? It is not so rare the mom has no milk or doesn’t have enough of it, so you have to bottle feed the babies every two hours, you have to clean them the space around them. That means no sleep for you, for days or even weeks!
One more funny thing- Frenchie babies don’t know how to poop and pee on their own. The mother usually needs to lick their genital area in order to stimulate babies to defecate and urinate and if the mom’s instinct has not kicked in, as it so often happens, than you also have to do this sublime duty. Now, that’s what I call dirty job! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love dogs and everything about them, but if you want a proper French Bulldog puppy, you should know that someone out there went through quite some trouble to raise them and deliver them save and sound to you. In addition, since as we have mentioned, it is not so uncommon for the mom or some of the babies to die during the whole process, after a few weeks and many sleepless nights, you forget everything you went through and you are just happy that mom and the pups are all alive and healthy.
Unlike suspicious and so called “backyard” breeders, we care about our puppies even after we deliver them to their new owner. We keep in touch with them, we are there for them if they need any advice. We also love to exchange photos, videos and emails and we are always glad to hear that “our” babies are ok, no matter where they are. We raise them all ourselves, since the moment we leave the vet, so we tend to get a bit emotionally attached. We deliver them to new owner when they are at least eight weeks old, vaccinated and with all health related papers.
That is our professional ethics and obligation and that is how we do it! If you ask me, that is the only way to do it properly!